~ Ritual Interlude
Crone's Time Away
excerpt p78 New
The first stage of metamorphosis is going into a cocoon. The first
step of one's self-initiation as Crone is isolation. As you enter menopause,
you may feel an urge to let go of the more public parts of your life
Just as the menstruating woman naturally seeks to be alone, or has
it thrust upon her in the form of painful periods, so the menopausal
woman may choose to take time away, or may become the "victim"
as her husband leaves her, her children grow up, and her erratic moods
alienate her former friends. Chosen or not, manifested subtly or dramatically,
isolation stalks the menopausal woman and carries her into her Crone's
As menopausal changes increase, our physical processes lead us into
ourselves. We want to sleep alone, so the wakings and cover-tossings
can be guilt-free. We want to be alone so we can undress and dress as
flushes and flashes and sweats and glows of heated energy flow through
us. We want to be alone to face our Change, to embrace the chaos and
our own darkness. We need to be in our cave to sort the experiences
of our lives.
This is the first secret of menopause. I want to be alone! (This is
not depression.) Don't call me mom! (This is not hysteria.) What do
I have to lose by telling the truth? (I am not crazy.)
Deep in our cave we can hear, perhaps for the first time, the voice
of our own needs, our own desires. We can take the time, perhaps as
never before, to tend to our own needs and our own wants.
Your Crone's Time Away begins with a ritual done by yourself or with
others. This is but one possibility. It is designed to tell your family
and close friends that your need to be alone is not a rejection of them
but a claiming of yourself. It may open into an actual time of isolation,
a vacation, a separate room or cabin, or it may create an aura of awe
around you that will allow you to feel into your moods and needs without
any underlying pressure to tend to others.
Gather with your family and friends in a public place, the noisier
the better, to symbolize the busyness in your life. Walk from this place
to a quieter, more isolated area, symbolizing the quiet space you need.
Facing each other, join hands and hum. Don't worry about how you sound.
Pay attention to your breath; let the hum vibrate.
Invite the energies of the seven directions to be present with you:
east, south, west, north, above, below, and within. Invite your ancestors
to be present. Invite your spirit guides and guardian angels to be there
with you. Together, bend down to the earth, touching your hands to the
earth and breathe out. Then stretch to the sky and breathe in. Bring
your hands to your heart, close your eyes, and go inside your self to
the place within the within within.
Using your own words, speak to each of the important people in your
life. Stand in front of them and look into their eyes. (Use a photo
for those not present.) "You are my lover (daughter, friend, son,
sister, mate). I take great joy in pleasing you. I feel great power
in making your life easy, beautiful, abundant. For the next few years
I will be going through menopause, the great Change, the great changer.
I will be busy finding my way to my new self, the baby crone, the butterfly.
How I will change, I know not now. Of this I am sure, however, my love
and affection for you will not change. Together we affirm this bond.
"Yet I must take this journey alone. I ask now for your blessing
on me as I begin my Change, my journey. I ask you to acknowledge my
Crone's Time Away. Let me go with love so my growth will not wrench
me from your grasp."
Speak in your own way, in song or dance, in poetry or a prepared script,
to each person or to everyone. They need not respond.
When your ceremony is complete, join hands again and begin to hum.
Let the hum go on as long as it wants to. Lift your arms to the sky
and breathe out. Place your hands on the earth and breathe in. Say goodbye
and thank you to the ancestors and angels and guardians. Bring your
hands to your heart and feel the vibration in your being.
Drop hands. Leave the circle by yourself. Spend the night alone. In
the silence you may hear Grandmother Growth whispering in your ear.
excerpt p78 New
Menopausal YearsThe Wise Woman Way
by Susun S. Weed